Mkushi District is located in the Central Province and covers an area of about 17,726 sq. km (6,844 sq mi). Mkushi district is approximately 95km from Kapiri Mposhi, and 135km from Kabwe Town. The Great North Road runs through Mkushi District, connecting Kapiri Mposhi on the South-West border and Serenje on the North-East border. The District also shares borders with Chongwe, Nyimba, and Masaiti Districts as well as the Democratic Republic of Congo. Administratively, Mkushi District is divided into 14 wards.
Mkushi District has an estimated population of 154,534 of which 77,536 (50.2%) are male and 76,998 (49.7%) are female, (Population Summary Report: 2012). Mkushi District has a population growth rate of 3.7 percent which is the highest in the Province posing a high demand on the need for land to provide shelter and land for production of food and rearing of animals. This impressive population growth offers a ready labor force for all investment projects as well as market for various goods and services.
The District has two forest reserves, namely Myafi and North Swaka, and it has multiple rivers some of which are being utilised for irrigation purposes. There are also three privately owned game ranches which offer minimal hunting concessions, but no tourist facilities at present. The township of Mkushi covers an extent of 11,000 hectares, inclusive of the newly extended town boundaries which have been earmarked for industrial development, housing as well as the upgrading of public infrastructure.
The key potential areas for investment in Mkushi include the following;
- Agriculture and livestock farming
- Agro and livestock processing
- Commerce, Trade and industrial production
- Mining and mineral exploration
- Construction, housing and real estates
- Tourism and hospitality industry development
- Energy generation
- Real estate and property development (Shopping Malls, Shopping and Housing Complex/facilities, Industrial Parks and Multi-Facility Economic Zones)
Mkushi is widely known as the food belt of Zambia. The District possesses abundant potential for growth especially with increased investments in agro-production and processing as well as infrastructure and mining.
|Potential Investment Area||Brief narration of investment potential|
|Agriculture & Agro Processing
|For the past two years, Mkushi District has produced in excess of 33,000mt of wheat, 14,000mt of sweet potatoes, approximately 1,800mt of barley and close to 500mt of mixed beans. These are among many other cash crops such as popcorn, cowpeas, tobacco, bambara nuts and irish potatoes that have been grown in large quantities in the District.
However, Mkushi itself has not benefited greatly from the numerous farming activities being undertaken in the district because of absence of major value addition and processing industries. Therefore, the setting up of agro processing plants will ensure creation of jobs and overall change of residents’ livelihoods.
Some of the processing plants that could be considered include:
Packaging Plants for fruit and vegetables
Oil Pressing Plants
|Construction of lodges and hotels near the various tourist attractions. – Putting up different lodging facilities and other infrastructure near the many tourist attraction centers in the District.
Possible Tourist attractions around the Mkushi District include:
Mount Mumpu and Fort Elvis
Manmade dams (some sited within game farms)
The rivers provide a rich potential source of tourist activities, including canoe safaris and hiking.
The district is home to the famous Ichibwela Mushi traditional ceremony.
|The district has mineral deposits such as manganese, copper and gold. Mining is done on small scale, despite the district being endowed with vast mineral resources that have not been exploited yet. Mineral exploration and setting up of mining firms in the district will greatly contribute to the development of the district by creating employment to the locals as well as contribute to the national economy.
The development of new mining areas will also support the development of other markets through the provision of jobs which will create a burgeoning middle-class consumer.
Mkushi District boasts of comparative advantage due to among many other reasons;
- Strategic location
- Easy access to major markets by railway and road
- Enough land for agriculture, tourism and other industries;
- Mkushi District is endowed with abundant natural resources which fundamentally influence its economic, environmental and social wellbeing. Minerals, wildlife, rich arable soils and water bodies (of which the Lunsemfwa river is the main one ) are some of the plenty natural resources in Mkushi;
- An overwhelming number of vibrant small-scale farmers; which have formed organizational structures on the ground
- The district is strategically located for easy tapping of energy from the national grid.